2010 Autonomous Vehicle Competition is Here!

This is your go-to post for all the info about the 2010 SparkFun Autonomous Vehicle Competition!

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Ok...it is definitely that time! The 2010 Autonomous Vehicle Competition is this very weekend! Excited? You bet your sweet britches we are. Well, don't bet your britches - we encourage only fully clothed individuals to attend the AVC.

If you haven't seen the official AVC 2010 Poster, check it out! If you want to download it, you can go to the "About Us" section and click on graphics downloads. We also have an AVC wallpaper on there for all your desktop background needs! Graphic Designer David also made the robots included in this post (plus some not shown here) that we'll be giving away in sticker form on the day of the race!

Alright, let's talk details! First off, here's what the schedule for the day's events looks like:

  • 8 AM - Team Admission
  • 9 AM - General Public Admission
  • 9:30 AM - 1st Heat Start Time, Raffle at End of 1st Heat
  • 12 PM - 2nd Heat Start Time, Raffle at End of 2nd Heat
  • 2:30 PM - 3rd Heat Start Time, Raffle at End of 2nd Heat, and Free-For-All Race (mass start)
  • 4:30 PM-ish - Awards
  • 6 PM-ish - After party @ Dark Horse

If you'd like to print the official schedule out (plus a whole bunch of other handy info about the day and the area), click here to download a PDF of the competitor's handbook (ooooooooh!). If you plan on attending and haven't registered yet, please do so! We are still working on getting an accurate head count for the event.

If you can't make it, worry not! We will be comin' 'atcha from all sorts of multimedia angles. Our writer Chris will be "live blogging" the event via our Twitter account (the user name is SparkFun - cryptic, we know). If text doesn't cut it for you, check out our uStream Channels for some serious video action. We will have multiple cameras set up all over the course, including cameras rigged to servos on all four corner of the building. If all goes to plan, these cameras will keep a constant eye on the action so you won't miss a beat.

Speaking of technology, check out the scoreboard we are using this year! IT Brad has been using this in his office as a computer screen, but now its real purpose in life will be realized. Much better than last years chalk board, I'd say.

Up, up, and away!

Also noteworthy about the day (and a change from last year's competition) will be the presence of food vendors! We are going to have vendors for both breakfast and lunch, so you won't even have to travel offsite to grab a bite. Robotics and food - what else does mankind need!

This vehicle would definitely win the "Kill Switch" award.

Last, but definitely not least. The weather forecast is...not that great. We are looking at highs in the mid-50s and a decent chance of scattered thunderstorms, so be prepared for anything. With that said, this is Colorado and it could be 70 and sunny. But better safe than sorry, so you'd be wise to bring an umbrella and/or poncho and some warm clothes.

The "Tron" version of our friendly robot!

Any questions? Write them in the comments and we'll get back to you. Remember, this is an open, free event - everyone is welcome! Hope to see you Saturday!

Comments 17 comments

  • SnuSnu / about 12 years ago / 2

    congratulations on the events guys, wish i could be there, but international travel just to see DIY electronics racing and crashing didnt go well with my wife. which is also the guardian of the gold. then i saw the pictures and feel like crying. :D
    T-shirts, T-shirts, T-shirts!! any of those posters would be awesome on a t-shirt. want.

  • Scienkoptic / about 12 years ago / 2

    make these into t-shirts and I'd buy one. like the blimp and the dinosaur ones.

  • schmidtw / about 12 years ago / 2

    Those would make some really cool shirts!

  • braincraven / about 12 years ago / 1

    OK, Who came up with the obvious reference to Dr. McNinja? http://drmcninja.com/archives/comic/3p20

  • Ben121 / about 12 years ago / 1

    Maybe next year the FIRST robotics championship and the Sparkfun AVC could be at the same place, or if not then on different weekends, because some of us are still tuning up our Time Travelling Hot tubs and couldn't be in both places :-(

  • JRMorrisJr / about 12 years ago / 1

    IT Brad should think about using a neckbrace and welding goggles if he decides to use that "score board" after the event!

  • Scotty / about 12 years ago / 1

    Videos please!!! - for those of us who couldn't attend and were working Saturday!!!

    • ...working on it now. I shot just under 200 gigs of true HD video using the 5d Mark II

  • What an amazing event and a great day! Congratulations to all of the competitors, as well as the entire staff at SparkFun. And even though no vehicles ended up in the pond this year, there were still incredible successes, impressive crashes, and a good time was had by all. I was able to capture a fair amount of video throughout the day, and if any of it is worth anything, I'll edit it together and post a link.
    Again, thanks to all involved!

  • jonabbott / about 12 years ago / 1

    Here are some shots I took at the event (as well as a couple random ones in Boulder): http://tinyurl.com/y2aos2s

  • scicior / about 12 years ago / 1

    I was hoping to be there (I work in Boulder) but I'm still at NASA Dryden preparing our Ozone instrument to fly on the Global Hawk UAV this Wednesday. It's going to leave Edwards Air Force base and fly for 30 hours to within 5 degrees of the north pole and back. Man, it would kick-butt in the spark fun contest if the FAA would let us fly over land :-)
    - Steve

  • numinit / about 12 years ago / 1

    Got a track meet Saturday, but I will see if I can come up to Boulder. Sounds cool.

  • elmer_fud / about 12 years ago / 1

    so much to finish, so little time

  • jessejay / about 12 years ago / 1

    Wish I could make it, maybe next yet. I was looking over the rules...
    10. Maintaining a height below the tops of the balloons is worth a 15 second reduction in
    time If a vehicle fails to complete its run, the total number of successfully navigated
    turns and distance will become the team?s score rather than the time. Completed
    distance takes precedence over time. Example: a ? completion in 2 minutes beats
    ? completion in 1 minute. Ultimately, the best time for a full lap takes the cake.
    This doesn't say non-ground vehicle. So, does that mean all ground vehicles get a 15 second reduction? :)

  • project240dotnet / about 12 years ago / 1

    Prepare to Qualify...
    I'm ultra-stoked about the event... I just hope that I made the right decision to use a wheeled ground vehicle rather than a boat. There was an earlier reference to using a boat platform... and should it rain torrentially enough and flood the parking lot, that may be the winning solution.

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